The Instantaneous Decay Of Passion.

“No matter! She was not happy, had never been so. Where did it come from, this feeling of deprivation, this instantaneous decay of the things in which she put her trust?… But, if there were somewhere a strong and beautiful creature, a valiant nature full of passion and delicacy in equal measure, the heart of a poet in the figure of an angel, a lyre with strings of steel, sounding to the skies the elegiac epithalamia, why should she not, fortuitously, find such a one? What an impossibility! Nothing, anyway, was worth the great quest; it was all lies! Every smile concealed the yawn of boredom, every joy a malediction, every satisfaction brought its nausea, and even the most perfect kisses only leave upon the lips a fantastical craving for the supreme.”

– Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. 

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Numbers.

“And it wasn’t my choice to love you but it was mine to leave. I don’t think the moon ever meant to be a satellite, kept in loving orbit, locked in hopeless inertia, destined to repeat the same pattern over and over— to meet in eclipse with the sun— only when the numbers allowed.”

 – Memories by Lang Leav.

Stowaway.

“I love the way he looks at me. Shy and half-cocked as though he is caught off guard, like he is retracing his steps to remember all the ways to make me smile. He brings me flowers every Sunday and tells me stories about mermaids and sirens with their sharp claws and beguiling lips. He says I remind him of the sea and attaches me to a metaphor I’ve never heard before, when I thought I must have heard them all. I think someone broke his heart once and now he can’t bear to be apart from the ocean. He said it’s strange how the smallest things can wreck a ship. Like a rock, or a wave, or a hairline crack in the hull. He calls me his little stowaway and he says it sadly, tenderly, as though I can sink him.”

 – Memories by Lang Leav.

Love in real life.

“Before her wedding day, she had thought she was in love; but since she lacked the happiness that should have come from that love, she must have been mistaken, she fancied. And Emma sought to find out exactly what was meant in real life by the words felicity, passion and rapture, which had seemed so fine on the pages of books.”

 – Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert.

HUMBERT’S RARE FORM OF BLISS.

“I am ready to believe that the sensations I derived from natural fornication were much the same as those known to normal big males consorting with their normal big mates in that routine rhythm which shakes the world. The trouble was that those gentlemen had not, and I had, caught glimpses of an incomparably more poignant bliss. The dimmest of my pollutive dreams was a thousand times more dazzling than all the adultery the most virile writer of genius or the most talented impotent might imagine.”

– Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.

HUMBERT HUMBERT AND HIS NYMPHETS.

“We loved each other with a premature love, marked by a fierceness that so often destroys adult lives. I was a strong lad and survived; but the poison was in the wound, and the wound remained ever open, and I soon found myself maturing amid a civilization which allows a man of twenty five to court a girl of sixteen but not a girl of twelve.”

– Lolita by Validmir Nabokov

The Charms of a Female Vampire.

“She used to place her pretty arms about my neck, draw me to her, and laying her cheek to mine, murmur with her lips near my ear, “Dearest, your little heart is wounded; think me not cruel because I obey the irresistible law of my strength and weakness; if your dear heart is wounded, my wild heart bleeds with yours. In the rapture of my enormous humiliation I live in your warm life, and you shall die— die, sweetly die— into mine. I cannot help it; as I draw near to you, you, in your turn, will draw near to others, and learn the rapture of that cruelty, which yet is love; so, for a while, seek to know no more of me and mine, but trust me with all your loving spirit.” And when she had spoken such a rhapsody, she would press me more closely in her trembling embrace, and her lips in soft kisses gently glow upon my cheek.”

– Carmilla (Unabridged) by J. Sheridan LeFanu.

Their Sins Were His Own.

“There are times when it appeared to Dorian Gray that the whole of history was merely the record of his own life, not as he has lived it in act and circumstance, but as his imagination had created it for him, as it had been in his brain and in his passions. He felt that he had known them all, those strange, terrible figures that had across the stage of the world made sin so marvelous and evil so full of subtlety. It seemed to him that in some mysterious way their lives had been his own.”

– The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.

Those who are rewarded are rarely found waiting in the corners.

“Juan, so fresh and smooth that there is almost a girl’s prettiness to his face. But at nearly seventeen, there is nothing feminine in his behavior. Such boundless energy, such outrageous confidence. Where others see vanity, Alexander only sees promise. A young man roaring and chafing at the bit, ready to take on the world. And why not? When did life ever reward those who cowered in its corners?”

– Blood & Beauty by Sarah Dunant.